Back to normality: After Christmas, a kind of lethargy overtakes us doesn’t it? The weeks before Christmas are awash with excitement and planning. The list of things to do and places to go is as long as our arm. After Christmas though, we need a push and a shove to get going. Christmas presents have to find a new home, the decorations have to come down, and things look a bit dusty and bleak. My first port of call is a bunch of daffodils, to go in with what’s left of the holly. We may even feel the need to decorate. Come to think of it, our whole house looks shabby without the Christmas cards and the nativity scene. However, in time, we do all manage to return to normality. A combination of tiredness, alcohol, and too much food make it impossible to dash about. Like all things though, we are all in the same boat, all groping our way towards some kind of post-Christmas equilibrium. It has to stop somewhere though doesn’t it? [I don’t think I could force down another Twiglet!]

A PIECE OF GOOD NEWS: Our Christmas Carol Service raised £550 towards ‘Bloodworks’, which is the Charity supporting research into Leukaemia and lymphoma, a subject near to Iden’s hearts.

TONIGHT IN IDEN VILLAGE HALL The Iden and District Natural History Society, are having a talk tonight, entitled Birds, their Nests, Eggs and Young, by John Buckingham. Visitors are very welcome, and pay £3. There are refreshments and a raffle .The meeting starts at 7.30pm.

PARISH COUNCIL MEETINGS: The second Tuesday in the month are the Parish Council meetings, at 7.30pm, in Iden village hall . I must say I enjoy going to these meetings, to keep abreast of things in Iden and Rother. The itinerary usually brings forth serious concerns, off times humour, and definitely a sense of camaraderie. I must say that all the topics directly concern Iden, and make us feel part of things Everyone is welcome, and there is a chance to air our views!

W.I MEETINGS: If anyone has made a New Year’s resolution to be more sociable, Iden W.I meets on the second Tuesday of the month, at 7.30pm. We would welcome new members, and it is good fun, so please join us!

A SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION: There will be a service of Holy Communion in Iden Parish Church on Sunday, at 9.30 am.

KNITTER-NATTER GROUP: Doesn’t the very name conjure up quilting bees and crafts of old? knitting is very popular once again isn’t it, and wools are so beautiful now that people seem to be taking up their needles. Anyway, there is a Knitter-Natter group starting up on Tuesday 26th January, in Iden village hall, 2pm-4pm. You are welcome to bring sewing, embroidery, crosswords, adult colouring, or whatever floats your boat. We can chat, have a cup of tea, and become engrossed in a hobby of our choice [it will be very therapeutic---a purl of an afternoon!] Everyone from Rye and surrounding villages is welcome.

POP-IN: Iden Pop-In is a friendly affair. All we do is chat over endless cups of coffee, and buy a bit of bric-a-brac. It’s a nice social gathering, and does us all the world of good. The next Pop-In is on Monday 11th January, at 11am, in Iden village hall. Everyone is welcome to this fortnightly get-together.

LETS SHOW A BIT OF WILLING: The Iden and Playden Garden Society could do with not only new members, but to have more people attending their wonderful seasonal shows in Iden village hall. If there were not such a society, with it’s enthusiastic members, we would be moaning that Iden does nothing en masse, to support horticulture. Our village is beautiful thanks to all the people with green fingers, whose gardens help to make this little corner of England so picturesque. At present, the hydrangeas look as though they have all been to the barbers [a real old short back and sides], yet already they are alive with buds. I’m the worst person to be crowing about gardening, because it has never been my forte, and this is precisely why I find entering the village hall on a show-day is an ‘in your face’ experience. The smell of the flowers, the trouble taken with floral arrangements, vegetables laid out in proud rows, the colours, and the whole scenario, which smacks of ‘old England’ is a sight to behold. It doesn’t matter who wins, it’s just nice to see people brought together through a love of gardening, and the Society would really appreciate more members, and more support.

BINGO: The next session of Bingo is on Thursday 21st January, in Iden village hall. Doors open at 2pm, eyes down at 2.30pm. Iden bingo is open to anyone in the Rye area. Bring your friends. There is a light tea at half time, a raffle, a jackpot, and a flier. It’s great fun, and during these dark evenings, an afternoon session is quite useful.

SHORT –MAT-BOWLS: Every Wednesday at 2pm, in Iden village hall, there is short-mat –bowls [open to anyone in the Rye area, even if you’ve never picked up a bowling ball.] Refreshments are available. It really is good exercise, without being too strenuous.

A JUMBLE SALE IN JANUARY: There is an Iden Bowls Club jumble sale, on January 30th, at 1pm, in Iden village hall . Jumble would be gratefully received. Please ring Vicky Britton [telephone 01797 280568] if you have any jumble, and Vicky and her team will either collect it, or advise where you can leave it. [ no electrical goods]

IDEN IS JUMPING!: It is!, Iden is a hive of activity [pockets of pleasure hither and thither], barely time for a cup of tea and a slice of toast and there’s something else to run off to. It’s grand isn’t it to always have something in the pipeline.

A QUIVERING WRECK: I must be going through my second childhood, because I cried uncontrollably at films on New Years Day. “Whatever is the matter with you”, my husband said “it should be me that’s crying having to sit through the sound of music for the hundredth time”. Well, ‘The Sound Of Music’ has certainly been on a lot over the years, and I must say, I was becoming immune to it. However, not having seen it for several years, I really enjoyed it [the bit where Julie Andrews makes play-clothes out of the drapes, and the bit where she and Christopher Plummer dance together [how could you not be moved]. Then of course, I watched ‘Little Women’[my husband had lost the will to live by this time], but surely there isn’t a sadder time in literature than when Beth dies. She was the gentlest , most self- deprecating March sister too [well I suppose that was par for the course] Then Jo cuts off her hair and sells it so that Marmee can buy some comforts for their injured father, and when Old Mr Laurence gave Beth the piano that had belonged to his little girl [who had died young], it was all too much. [I got through a pack of tissues]. I remember my mum buying me a book with ‘Little Women at the front, and ‘Little men’ at the back [I was in heaven] I still remember how I felt, owning such a book. For years , as a child I wanted to give away my Christmas dinner to the poor like the March family [ until I caught sight of what was on the plate]. The classics taught us so much didn’t they, about feelings and injustice. I don’t suppose Louisa May Alcott even imagined that when ‘Little women’ was published in 1868, she would still have people crying over it in 2016. All I can say is, it’s a real tear- jerker [I could hardly get tea ready!]

CONTACT ME: If anyone would like to add anything to the Village Voice, please ring Gill Griffin [telephone 01797 280311]

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